How can we be sure the four Gospels weren’t just made up?

Simon Gathercole, Dirk Jongkind and Peter J Williams in Edinburgh

(Photo by Andrew Robertson from the ‘Tapes From Scotland’ website)

We may be convinced that the New Testament documents are based on reliable sources – that we have what was originally written from an early date – but do we know that what they contain is reliable? How do we know they weren’t just made up?

Dr Peter J Williams, Warden of Tyndale House, Cambridge University, attempts to answer the question of the reliability of the Gospel record by looking closely at both non-Christian sources and detailed material within the Gospels themselves.

He draws on research which strongly suggests the implausibility of a claim that the four canonical gospels were clever fakes.

Were these stories made up at a later time or written from a different place, or do they include such a wealth of incidental information that was available only to the ‘close-up’ gospel writers, and which points to their authenticity?

Peter presents the material with wit and precision and we’re left with an extremely convincing case that the four gospels were indeed comprised of genuine eyewitness accounts. You’ll enjoy this!

NEW! UPDATED video link. Click on the image below:

Peter Williams

 

© Church History / Lex Loizides

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3 thoughts on “How can we be sure the four Gospels weren’t just made up?

  1. “or do they include such a wealth of incidental information that was available only to the ‘close-up’ gospel writers, and which points to their authenticity?”

    Why should incidental details matter to the authenticity of the non-incidental details?

    Stephen King has lived in Maine his entire life. His books are incredibly accurate when it comes to the incidental details of locations, people and culture in Maine. This does not, however, indicate that there is actually a town of vampires there.

    Comic books show Manhattan very accurately. But that doesn’t mean that Spider-man exists.

  2. @notascientist

    You misunderstand. Incidental details don’t prove that a deliberately fictional account is non-fiction; rather, they provide evidence as to the identity of the original author. Accurate Maine geography doesn’t prove that Carrie really did have telekinetic powers, but it sure backs an argument for Stephen King as the book’s real author – as opposed to an unrelated individual writing many years after the event who was less likely to produce something historically reliable.

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